by Lanny Udell
Dancing tango since: Stephanie took her first tango class three years ago with Debbie and John at COM. She also does Irish Step Dancing and has taken tap.
Why tango: After years of performance oriented dance Stephanie, an empty nester, wanted to learn a partner dance. “I knew I would have to study to understand it,” she says. She had seen Tango Argentino, the precursor to Forever Tango, and was struck by it. But, she admits, seeing it with her dad was “kind of embarrassing because it was rather steamy.” Another reason she chose tango is “… unlike Irish Step Dancing, it’s something I can do in my 80’s.”
Favorite part: The possibility of surprise. “You don’t know in any given dance what level of connection you’re going to have with someone,” says the tanguera.
About Debbie & John: “I’m so glad they were my first teachers, they’re always very encouraging. And, I’m glad they started milongas in Marin, it gave me the courage to go to milongas.”
Stephanie has danced in two Alma del Tango student productions, All About Tango and Close Embrace: A Tango Love Story. “Working with Debbie on the shows was amazing,” she mused. “She has calm energy. It’s incredibly hard, and I’ve never seen her lose it.”
Anything else: In March, Stephanie went to Argentina with two friends. She took tango classes in Buenos Aires and hired a taxi dancer for a couple of days. “It was nice to dance all night with a good leader,” says Stephanie, “but it isn’t the same when you have to pay someone to dance with you.”
Last word: When asked if she experienced any piropos* in Argentina, she laughed explaining: “one in Mendoza, but I don’t know what they said.”
*Piropo – Flirtatious, “poetic” remarks directed at women by men on the street.